Top 25 Albums of the 2000s

After reading Pitchfork’s Pitchfork’s top albums and songs lists, I was inspired to come up with my top albums list.*  If you have a couple spare hours, click through the songs list for awhile and listen to some of the embedded songs.  Maybe you missed something; a decade is a long time.

*I can’t imagine coming up with a top X songs list.  Comparing albums is difficult but at least you can come up with some basic metrics (album depth, how much you want to listen through a whole album at once, etc.), but for songs I got nothing.  Is “Destroy Everything You Touch” better than “Mein Herz Brennt”?  I have no idea!

Sure, my list isn’t as authoritative and I haven’t heard every culturally relevant album of the decade.  A year from now my ordering could be completely different or I might have entirely new entries from albums that I just haven’t heard yet.

My first attempt started with a goal of my top 25 albums, but this ballooned up to 30 albums that I found I just had to include on a decade-long list.  Then 35, then 50.  But for me, there really wasn’t a huge difference between, say, the #32 album (Röyksopp – Melody AM) and the #49 album (Space Manoeuvres – Oid).  So we’re down to 25 albums for the purpose of brevity.

Note that I ruled compilations ineligible for this, which disqualifies albums like Nick Warren’s Reykjavik mix (almost certainly a top 25 entry).  Ok, well, technically Nah Und Fern is a compilation, but I’m using it as a stand-in for the four albums that comprise it.  The albums are so interconnected in theme and aesthetic, I don’t think I could choose a distinct favorite.

  1. RadioheadKid A (2000)
  2. The NationalBoxer (2007)
  3. Aphex TwinDrukqs (2001)
  4. RadioheadHail to the Thief (2003)
  5. LCD SoundsystemSound of Silver (2007)
  6. The Smashing PumpkinsMachina/The Machines of God (2000)
  7. Editors The Back Room (2005)
  8. Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)
  9. Asobi SeksuCitrus (2006)
  10. Boards of Canada The Campfire Headphase (2005)
  11. Thom Yorke The Eraser (2006)
  12. Mindless Self IndulgenceFrankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy (2000)
  13. Ulrich SchnaussFar Away Trains Passing By (2001)
  14. Radiohead In Rainbows (2007)
  15. The OrbOkie Dokie It’s The Orb on Kompakt (2005)
  16. Beck Guero (2005)
  17. The Avalanches Since I Left You (2000)
  18. Ulrich SchnaussA Strangely Isolated Place (2003)
  19. Boards of CanadaGeogaddi (2002)
  20. Faded Paper FiguresDynamo (2008)
  21. The Orb – Cydonia (2001)
  22. Gas Nah Und Fern (2008)
  23. The Field From Here We Go Sublime (2007)
  24. The Knife Silent Shout (2006)
  25. Gorillaz Demon Days (2005)

Just missing the cut (in no particular order): Electric Six – Fire, Manitoba – Up in Flames, DJ Shadow – The Private Press, Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings, Passion Pit – Manners, Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere, Kid Koala – Some of My Best Friends Are DJs, The Shins – Wincing the Night Away, Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion, The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Survival Sickness

Most unknown from top 25: Faded Paper Figures – Dynamo

Most critically derided from top 25: The Orb – Cydonia

Barely missing the cutoff date: Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile (released at the end of 1999, this would have been a contender for #1)

Wanted to include in top 25 but could in no way justify it: The Bug – London Zoo, Nobukazu Takemura – Hoshi no Koe, Deepchord Present Echospace – The Coldest Season

Wouldn’t be surprised if they entered the top 25 in the future: The Dead Weather – Horehound, Asobi Seksu – Hush, Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Decade winner: Thom Yorke

Coming up with this list was a little strange, as it mixed albums like Machina that I was essentially raised on almost ten years ago with albums I didn’t discover until this year like Faded Paper Figures’ Dynamo.  I swear I could change this list around a dozen times be no less satisfied or dissatisfied with it.

Picking the #1 album was pretty difficult.  For a long time I had Boxer as the top entry.  Plus, I didn’t really want to pick Kid A, as it’s #1 on almost every top albums list I’ve read.  Kid A really is a great album, but I think I view it differently than a lot of people.  For many, they viewed it as an avante-garde step for rock and a musical revolution.  Coming from an electronic music background, I viewed it more as a natural progression of electronic and rock music.  Kid A takes a lot of cues from “IDM” artists like Aphex Twin, but Radiohead just did it so damn well.

Arbitrary song of the day: Nina Simone – Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat’s Heavenly House Mix)


2 thoughts on “Top 25 Albums of the 2000s

  1. I completely agree that Kid A and Boxer are two of the best albums of the decade.
    Ive been making a list too, and I know where you’re coming from not wanting to put Kid A at no.1 cos everyone else is. But it probably deserves it.
    Anyway, great list! :)

  2. Pingback: Top 25 Films of the 2000s « Completement Rate

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